By D. Mark Mitchell

Sports Columnist

Summer has arrived for athletes at OMS and OHS. Student athletes are enjoying time off until workouts start. My column is normally about Opelika Middle and High School Athletics. Today, I am writing about the Class of 2015 and the Opelika City School System.
The Class of 2015 received their diplomas last Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. The good Lord blessed us with perfect weather and a memorable ceremony for those involved.
The 2015 graduates had the same principal, Dr Farrell Seymore, while attending OMS and OHS. Dr. Seymore was hired as the OHS principal the same year that students moved from the eighth grade to the ninth grade. This was a smooth transition for students and Dr. Seymore.
“This is a special group of students. I watched as students entered OMS in the sixth grade and will have the privilege of announcing each name during graduation exercises. The students went through two and half years of construction at OHS and attended some classes in portable classrooms. In the end, they walked the halls of the new Opelika High.” said Seymore, reflecting on this class in his office last week.
Dr. Farrell Seymore, Alabama Secondary Principal of the Year is one of many reasons the Opelika City School System is one of the best in Alabama.
Superintendent Dr. Mark D. Neighbors has led the school system through one of the worst economic crises our country has faced in many years. While many school systems cut programs and laid off teachers, OCS kept things as normal as possible. Yes, OCS  had to make some  budget cuts but these cuts did not effect classes and extra curricular activities like most school systems. This was due to a team effort, administration and help from the City of Opelika.
Mayor Gary Fuller, City Council President Eddie Smith and members of the council continue to provide money for the Opelika School System. The financial and personal support are examples of how our city rallies around our school system.
As a supporter of the Opelika School System and alumnus, I am proud of the Opelika School System. We have the total package for our children: great education and resources, extracurricular activities such as performing arts, show choir, horticulture, athletics and much more. A safe environment and schools that are constantly updated to meet the needs of students.
We are fortunate to live in Opelika, where the school system matters and is supported by the local government as well as the business leaders.
As the 2014-15 school year comes to an end, it’s time to start preparing for the 2015-16 school year.
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club depends on businesses and citizens for its financial support. The Corporate Sponsor program raises thousands of dollars that is used for Athletics at both OMS and OHS. The good folks in Opelika are willing to support the Booster club so our student-athletes have the extras needed to be successful.
As a member of the All-Sports Booster Club Board of Directors, I see first hand how our citizens support our athletic department and school system.
Many cities across the state of Alabama wish their citizens, businesses and city leaders supported their school systems like Opelika does. Thank you!
Opelika recent graduate Gage Young signed a baseball scholarship with Enterprise Community College this week. Young was 10-1 on the mound and hit over .400 for the season. Gage will be a great addition to Enterprise CC.
Congratulations, Gabe.
OHS baseball and girls basketball coaches are offering camps starting next week.
The girls basketball camp costs $20 per child. The Lady Bulldog basketball team will run the camp with Head Coach Devin Booth.
Coach Billy Jones’ baseball camp costs $75 per child and will be run by the OHS coaching staff.
Contact OHS at 745-9715 for more information.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.